mycotoxins food safety risk for food importers and manufacturers

Canadian Food Inspection Agency [CFIA] protects consumers by safeguarding Canada’s food supply. One of the tools that the agency uses is targeted sampling and testing to detect food safety risks. It helps monitor the levels of chemical and microbiological hazards in the food supply chain and subsequently develop risk management strategies to minimize risks to Canadians.

During 2018-2019, the agency collected samples and tested for the presence of and levels of mycotoxins in many food products such as corn products, crackers, other grain (non-staple) products, pasta, and gluten-free products.

Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by certain fungi [moulds], which can be found in many foods. Mycotoxins can cause severe health issues and affects major organs such as kidney, liver, affects the immune system and some toxins are carcinogens. Common mycotoxins include aflatoxins, ochratoxin A, fumonisins etc.

CFIA has developed maximum levels in certain foods; however, in many foods maximum levels have not been established. Consequently, those who are involved in manufacturing or importing foods, must evaluate their food safety plans to ensure that mycotoxins (i.e., chemical hazards) are appropriately identified and controls are implemented to eliminate or reduce the risk accordingly before the foods are made available to Canadians. Under Safe Food for Canadian Regulations (SFCR), majority of the companies are now required to have Preventive Control Plan (PCP).

The full report is available at Multi-Mycotoxins in Corn Products, Crackers, Other Grain Products, Pasta and Gluten-Free Products – April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019 – Canadian Food Inspection Agency (

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The experts at MCS associates can support your compliance requirements by working with you to review, create or support the implementation of your food safety plan. For Mycotoxins testing, please visit Canadian Analytical Laboratories.

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